Philippe Herreweghe (Ghent, 1947) is chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and artistic director of the Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi festival in Tuscany, Italy. He has founded various music ensembles, all of which specialise in specific musical periods. With La Chapelle Royale, Herreweghe focuses on music from the French Golden Age, and with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, he concentrates on performing music from the pre-Romantic and Romantic eras on original instruments.
He is best known in the Netherlands for his authentic performances of Baroque vocal music. His innovative approach quickly earned him great fame, leading to an invitation from Nicolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt to contribute to the recordings of the complete Bach cantatas.
Over the course of his career, the Flemish conductor has built up a massive discography. He founded his own label, Φ (PHI) in 2010, where over 20 albums have appeared containing works by composers such as Gesualdo, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler and Stravinsky.
His many decorations include the French title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (2003), the Bach medal of the city of Leipzig (2010) and an honorary doctorate of the University of Ghent (2017). Since 2006, Herreweghe shares something of his knowledge at the Bach Academie each year.
Herreweghe is much in demand as a guest conductor of important symphony orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2014 he last conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra, in Bach’s St Matthew Passion.